Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Remembering the Laughter Though the Tears

SO I have been moping around the house since yesterday afternoon, trying to wrap my head around this thing. Anyone who knows me might find it easy to guess that I am a huge Robin Williams fan. Since the lovable alien Mork first appeared on Happy Days, I was hooked on the personality that brought him to life. In fact, it was always a dream of mine to spend just one hour with the man and just enjoy the improv and glib commentary he could rattle off on even the most mundane subject.

I've know for years that such a personality masked a great deal of pain and depression, his battle with addiction is well known and his successes with that battle were awe inspiring. I guess more than the entertainment he provided, Robin Williams's strength was what made me such a fan. So then you can imagine my shock and sadness when the news of his death reached me. My first thought was "No, he's just pulling our legs. Watch he's gonna wake up and say 'Gotcha'."

Sadly this world does not allow us to stay in that blissful land of denial. Confirmations and verifications came fast and quick. Scenarios ran through my mind so fast it seemed like Robin and Jonathan Winters were having a battle of wits in my brain. It had to be an assassination. It must have been murder. Could it have been an accident? And then it came.

I'm not ashamed to say that I cried for an hour. There, mercifully alone in my living room, I wept like a child at the thought of a man so strong just giving up. Why? How could a man I loved so, whom I admired more than most have done the one thing in this world I find more abhorrent than any other?

I have to admit, I am still struggling. I've spat on the graves and memories of too many people who have died by their own hand to just accept that this was how a man who showed the world the truest strength would go out. I tried, I did, I tried so hard to go back to the prank scene and even in accepting his death, I was willing to hope that he was murdered and his killer wants us to think it was... There, you see? I can't even put the word in writing.

But the truth is, in this instance I think I get it. I think I understand if not why, then at least how this could have come about. You see, 63 years is a short life in this modern era. However, it is a very, very long time to fight a war. And truthfully, that's what he did every day. He warred with himself every day, fighting his depression, his addiction and what ever other demons haunted him, of which we know nothing.

You see, when you look at it like that, you start to think of things a little different. Like pullups. God, I hate doing those. I get a few out and then I just can't do any more. I just hang there, trying my best, but eventually, I can't hold on and I fall. Now imagine holding on for 60+ years.

So, yes. I am definitely still disappointed in the circumstances of his death and there will never be a question that I am saddened by it. But I will say this for the man I adored with the personality I would love to emulate. Even though he couldn't hold on any longer, I am amazed at the strength he showed by holding on for so long.


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